Speak Up

NAFTA suckers

While stationed at the FAA Southwest Region as the Unit Supervisor, Flight Standards Division, I was the Subject Matter Expert for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

I traveled once a month to Mexico City, where I met with my counterparts from the Dirección General de Aviación Civil (DGAC) of Mexico and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA).

During the meetings, we shared aviation safety procedures and the application of our new technological advancements. My mission was to provide the Mexicans with everything they needed, such as the latest computer programs, fax machines, and new and used laptops. I also paid for all the fancy hotel conference rooms and meals.

Neither the TCCA nor DGAC ever paid for anything. We were the NAFTA suckers during the Clinton administration. I always left empty handed.

Javier (Jay) Rodriguez,


Help after Irma

President Trump has proven he is not willing to spend tax payers dollars to help those still affected by Hurricane Irma. Therefore, it is up to the people, especially those in the top 1 and 2 percent to which Trump has given tax breaks.

The ultra rich need to donate funds to help the most affected in the Florida Keys and Puerto Rico. It is the least they can do with all the extra money they will, or have, received as a gift from this president. This is not a political plea, this is an act of humanity.

There are reputable agencies that use donations to their fullest; hopefully the Herald will guide us to the honest ones.

Cathy Margoshes,


Be very afraid

Per an article published in Bloomberg: Bruce G. Blair, a former Minuteman missile-launch officer and research scholar at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security, spelled out the step-by-step procedure for the U.S. launching of nuclear weapons.

The complex procedure is initiated only after the order is given to launch a nuclear strike by the only person authorized to do so, the president. He or she has the sole authority to use such weapons.

Given the revelations of chaos in the White House and Trump’s erratic mental state and behavior as described in the anonymous New York Times op-ed, and Bob Woodward’s book, FEAR: Trump in the White House, the book’s title takes on a far more alarming urgency.

Christopher Cooke-Yarborough,

South Miami

Nothing there

Re the Sept. 16 story, “What does FBI boat ride with Gillum mean to probe?” I wonder why the Miami Herald published this an extensive front page story that went no where? Readers who didn’t take time to actually read the whole story may come away with the impression the probe was justified.

The bottom line is that there was nothing to report, so why cast suspicion on an innocent person?

Phyllis Levy,


Metrorail parking

As a frequent Metrorail rider boarding at the Coconut Grove Station, I am continually astonished to see that the numbers on the parking spaces are almost all worn away.

To pay for parking at the fare gate, you must remember the parking space number.Why doesn’t the county repaint the numbers when they become unreadable?

Carol Ravikoff,

Coconut Grove

Red alert!

Please oppose FEMA allowing Trump to text emergency alerts to cell phones for the obvious reasons: He has no credibility; he will increase anxiety and division; it’s not a toy for a narcissistic third-grader.

Jane Hart Marter,

Duck Key

Punish neglect

The Sept. 17 article, “Keys elder care facilities were houses of horror, police say,” reports that charges are rightfully being brought against the owners/operators. But when will charges be brought against the state employees hired to monitor and insure proper levels of standards? This abuse is not rare here nor is it limited to assisted living facilities just for the elderly.

This shameful neglect will not cease until Florida changes its standards and hires inspectors more competent and caring than some of those employed now.

No, these facility operators are not the only ones who should be brought to account.

Michael Merhige,


GOP hypocrisy

Re the Sept. 16 letter, “Presidential affairs:” The writer states that other presidents have had affairs and were given a pass. After all, according to his logic, Trump’s only doing what Democrat presidents did before him.

However, the writer neglects to mention that the Republican Party has long presented itself as the moral authority, castigating the aforementioned presidents for their behavior. But now, it champions a serial adulterer.

Can’t he see the hypocrisy in that?

Tim Turman,

Cutler Bay

Campus voting

Add me to the chorus of voters/tax payers who are imploring Mayor Gimenez to require Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections open early voting locations at FIU, all MDC campuses and UM.

After federal judge Mark Walker declared unconstitutional a state policy banning voting on campus, many other Florida colleges/universities decided to host early-voting sites in time for the Nov. 6 general election.

Only Mayor Gimenez can make it possible for Miami-Dade colleges/universities to do the same, so that our students can easily cast their ballots on campus.

Martha Ardren,


Bachelor no more

Kudos to South Florida icon Dan LeBatard on his recent engagement. Very few things in Miami go according to form and everything to do with this magnetic personality is no exception. Judging by the looks of things — all good things to those who wait.

While I have always been a bit skeptical of non-jock sports radio and TV sports personalities, LeBatard is the exception. His iconoclastic style makes the mundane quite engaging (pun perhaps intended), puts several coats of sophistication into his commentary, and inserts necessary levity into a realm we all take too seriously.

He has always shown a little bit of ambivalence toward making a living commenting on sports. I respect that. Perhaps Dan has always been a victim of his own success. As a writer and pundit, LeBatard simply has too much skin in the game to walk away now.

Thus in marriage, as in his life as a South Florida cult hero, Dan deserves all the success possible. It’s rare to find someone who channels David Letterman, Bob Costas and Bill Maher simultaneously.

Adrian Elman,

Miami Beach